SGR UPDATE: During a Senate Finance committee confirmation hearing last week, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the President’s nominee for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said she is looking forward to working with the committee to permanently repeal the sustainable growth rate formula (SGR). Burwell, who is expected to be confirmed, said she was excited for the prospects of repeal this year and cited the bipartisan legislation that was previously passed by the key health care committees in Congress.

While Congressional efforts to repeal the SGR are at a virtual standstill, sources inform NASS that House leadership is still optimistic that a deal can be made during Congress’ lame duck session. Other sources have indicated that key Republican Senators have been meeting with House Republican leadership to discuss the prospects of using Overseas Contingency Operation Funds (OCO) as a viable option to pay for SGR repeal. NASS will continue to provide any updates on new developments as they become available.

BIOSIMILAR BILL HEADS TO DE GOVERNORS DESK: Last week, the Delaware state legislature passed Senate Substitute 1 for SB 118, which requires pharmacists to notify treating physicians if another version of a biologic medicine is being substituted for the version prescribed by the doctor. NASS joined the Alliance of Specialty Medicine (The Alliance) in sending a letter of support for this legislation to the Delaware general assembly, stating that the bill will help ensure proper patient care. The Alliance will send a letter urging Delaware’s Governor to sign the bill into law.